Include Ayurveda under Indian Armed Forces Medical Reimbursement Rules
  • Petitioned Shri. A.K. Antony

This petition was delivered to:

Hon. Defence Minister, Government of India
Shri. A.K. Antony
Hon. Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Government of India
Shri. Ghulam Nabi Azad
Chief of Army Staff
General Bikram Singh
Chief of Air Staff
Air Chief Marshal Norman Anil Kumar Browne
Chief of Naval Staff
Admiral Nirmal Verma
Director General, Armed Forces Medical Services
Lt. Gen. Mandeep Singh
Secretary, Department of AYUSH, Government of India
Shri. Anil Kumar

Include Ayurveda under Indian Armed Forces Medical Reimbursement Rules

    1. Rajiv Vasudevan
    2. Petition by

      Rajiv Vasudevan

      Bangalore, India

PV Manesh, NSG Commando, saved 40 lives on 26/11 in Mumbai in an act of selfless service, but a grenade blast left the right side of his body paralysed.  Manesh, a Shaurya Chakra awardee, regained his speech and certain degree of independent mobility after undergoing classical Ayurveda therapies, but is now forced to pay his medical bills as the Director General,  of Armed Forces Medical Services has stated his inability before the Hon. Delhi High Court to include Ayurveda for the purpose of reimbursement of medical expenses to Indian Armed Forces personnel.

What the court said?

Following media reports in 2011, a public interest litigation was filed in the Delhi High Court, the division bench directed the Centre to frame guidelines for compensation to defence personnel who wished to avail treatment under Ayurveda system of medicine.

The court also directed the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to frame guidelines relating to medical treatment and reimbursement within three months, in consultation with the heads of all three defence forces.

What does the army say ?

The Director General of Armed Forces Medical Services stated his inability before the Hon. Delhi High Court to include Ayurveda (Indian Systems of Medicine) for the purpose of reimbursement of medical expenses to Indian Armed Forces personnel. Needless to say, it is a sad day when a most powerful living medical tradition that serves the needs of millions of people is disregarded in the country of its origin and practice.

What are we demanding :

The "INCLUDE AYURVEDA" petition demands the intervention of the Hon. Defence Minister, Government of India, and the Chiefs of Staff of the Army, Navy, and Airforce to constitute a special committee/ task-force made up of relevant stakeholders from within the armed forces as well as from the Ayurveda medical services sector to formulate clear guidelines for inclusion of Ayurveda under authorised medical reimbursement for (serving and retired) members of the Indian armed forces and implement the same at the earliest.

What does the petition seek to redress

This petition is realistic in its expectations. We do not say that Ayurveda can be the treatment of choice for all diseases- it depends on the roga(disease), and the roga-rogi awastha or disease-patient status. We can understand that the defence establishment has very complex and sensitive issues to address and how Ayurveda medical care is provided for has to be carefully planned taking into account these multiple factors. We respect that genuine concerns and constraints may exist- some real, some based on ignorance of what Ayurveda is capable of, and perhaps also because of inertia (resistance to change).


Ayurveda is approved by CGHS, SGHS, and by many of the medical insurance companies. RSBY, the flagship GoI scheme to cover BPL citizens of the country under a comprehensive medical insurance scheme is soon expected to cover Ayurveda too. NABH accreditation as applicable for Allopathic hospitals is now possible for Ayurveda hospitals too and in fact there are several Ayurveda hospitals that are already NABH accredited in different parts of the country.

We only want that the guidelines be framed in a judicious and time-bound manner so that AYURVEDA PLAYS AN APPROPRIATE AND VALID role in non-emergency medical conditions where it has time tested remedies and we are given an opportunity to serve our brothers and sisters in the Indian armed forces and their families. 

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 10,000 signatures
    2. Headlines Today on its 9 PM show today carried the PV Manesh Story

      Rajiv Vasudevan
      Petition Organizer

      Dear friends, It has been some weeks since I sent you an update on the "INCLUDE AYURVEDA" petition with your (over 9100) signatures that we had submitted to Shri AK Antony. We had been informed right at the beginning that to make a policy change the Ministry of Defence had to go through a fairly laborious process but that the matter would be considered with due seriousness. In all fairness we thought we would wait for the Government to respond. With Kasab being hanged yesterday in Yerawada Jail, the important matter of PV Manesh, NSG Commando being denied reimbursement for the Ayurveda medical care that was responsible for being able to walk again has come back centre stage. We expect the Ayurveda aspects to be covered in the coming days. Please continue to spread the word and to keep the flame alive.

    3. Ministry of Defence is responsible says Lt. Gen (Retd.) Shankar Roy

      Rajiv Vasudevan
      Petition Organizer

      Lt. Gen (Retd.) Shankar Roy said on national tv today that the Government of India is responsible for not implementing steps that are advised by the Supreme Court as well as the High Courts in various matters of critical importance to the Indian Armed Forces. He added, if the Government gives a green signal then the Army would have no problem in implementing these steps.

    4. Reached 9,000 signatures
    5. 'CORRECT INJUSTICE' demands Ayurveda Medical Association of India (AMAI)

      Rajiv Vasudevan
      Petition Organizer

      AMAI- the United Voice of Several Thousand Ayurveda Doctors- Endorses "INCLUDE AYURVEDA"

      " It is quite unfortunate that a brave jawan like Mr. Manesh had to experience such neglect in spite of the fact that he fought bravely for our country. It is highly unjust to deny him the medical facility that made him stand up on his legs.

      India cannot afford to show discrimination to a medical system that has been embraced by the whole world. It is high time the authorities responsible for this act reconsider the whole issue and approve Ayurveda in the Department of Defense.

      A strong public demand would serve as an eye-opener to the authorities. We expect the Hon. Minister for Defense who is himself undergoing Ayurveda treatment for his ailments to look seriously into the matter.

      The Ayurveda Medical Association of India (AMAI) promises its wholehearted support for this campaign."



      Rajiv Vasudevan
      Petition Organizer


      "Incidentally, defence minister AK Antony has for the past 15 years undergone regular annual treatment for his spondylitis-related problems. To add insult to injury (pun intended), whereas civilian employees are entitled to alternative forms of treatment, defence personnel are not. It does not stop here. Non-availability of pension or any kind of monthly financial allowance to disabled members of the armed forces who are invalided out / discharged with disabilities that are declared non-service connected (neither attributable to, nor aggravated by service) is in stark contrast to provisions applicable to other government employees who are protected under section 47 of Persons with Disabilities (Equal opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act 1995."

    7. 300 Years of Service thru Ayurveda: ASHTAVAIDYAN E.T. NEELAKANDHAN MOOSS

      Rajiv Vasudevan
      Petition Organizer


      " I am hailing from a family having more than 300 years of experience in
      Ayurvedic treatment. I did my studies in Ayurveda and now a practising
      doctor. More than 3 lakhs professionals are engaged in the Ayurveda profession
      and every year another 10000 is added from various Ayurveda Medical
      Colleges. I will be able to highlight many wonders that occured through
      Ayurveda treatment by solving chronic diseases or illness. Military
      professionals are rendering yomen service to the society and they
      should not be alienated from using the services of Ayurveda Treatment."



      Rajiv Vasudevan
      Petition Organizer

      A clarion call from one of the most respected and eminent Ayurveda physicians in the world:

      " It is sad to note that a time tested traditional native Indian Medical System
      is not recognized by Indian Military Authorities. I am a practitioner of Ayurveda
      for the last 55 years. My ancestors were also in this profession for last 300 years.
      We could save and support large number of patients and we are confident that
      this system is equally competent with any other system of medicine. Now even
      the Europeans especially those from medical profession are also contacting
      various Ayurveda Hospitals to study and imbibe the spirit of the system into their
      treatment practices. It is a complete medical system and a way of life. Hope
      our administrators and planners will understand this and change their attitude
      and position."


    9. Reached 8,000 signatures
    10. Honour Manesh's Valour & Sacrifice, says Mrs Madhumita Das from Kolkata

      Rajiv Vasudevan
      Petition Organizer

      Because I am the wife, mother and daughter-in-law of three very brave army officers.. and I know how this must be affecting the morale of this brave lad.. While defending those people he never thought of asking whether they were Indians or otherwise... he just did his duty.. unconditionally. Now Army must honour his valour and sacrifice and reimburse his medical bills.. Ayurveda or whatever.. unconditionally..!! And change the rules so that it benefits him and countless others like him.

    11. Reached 7,500 signatures
    12. "GROSS INJUSTICE" says Dr. P.K. Warrier, Doyen of Ayurveda

      Rajiv Vasudevan
      Petition Organizer

      Doyen of Ayurveda, a legend, a savant, a guru, a healer par excellence, and an institution builder- Dr. P.K. Warrier, Managing Trustee and Chief Physician, Arya Vaidya Sala (AVS), Kottakkal, spoke his mind on the "INCLUDE AYURVEDA" campaign:


      He added “Senior bureaucrats and other Government servants who have taken Ayurveda treatment are able to get their expenses reimbursed then why not the armed forces? Over the years we have treated so many representatives of the armed forces across ranks, from General to Sepoy. I was hopeful that after Shri AK Antony took over as Defence Minister, as one who knows the true capabilities of Ayurveda, he would act. To make the system change we also need those who serve in the Indian armed forces to demand their right of choice. The system has to change and will change.”

    13. Reached 7,000 signatures
    14. DRDO (Defence Research & Development Orgn.) Views Ayurveda Differently?

      Rajiv Vasudevan
      Petition Organizer

      Mr. Katiyar, an Indian Citizen, has strong comments:

      " It is a shame on Govt. If Armed Forces do not recognize Ayurveda I fail to understand why DRDO/ INMAS are conducting research on Herbal drugs for decades and spending income tax payers' money in vain. Why DRDO boasts of developing Noni based product if they are not able to extend this benefit to our own Jawans? Why CAG does not ask this question from Ministry of Defence?
      I think this matter should be brought to the knowledge of Army Chief, may be he would take some positive steps. "

    15. Strong Words from Dr. D.B. Anantha Narayana, Eminent Scientist

      Rajiv Vasudevan
      Petition Organizer

      “No wonder even the former Prime Minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee was embarrassed when an US FDA official questioned him in New York at a healthcare exposition that when India itself did not recognize Ayurveda medicines and how could its government demand US recognition for its traditional medicine. Time has now come to give the rights of which system of healthcare that a patient wants to take and not thrust pharmaceuticals down his throat. Hence the Defence Ministry should demonstrate leadership by accepting the demand of the memorandum on the petition,”

      stated Dr DBA Narayana, Member- Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission's Scientific Committee & Chairman of its Herbs & Herbal Products Committee; formerly Director, Regulatory Affairs, Foods & HPC, Unilever Research, and Director-Dabur Research Foundation

    16. "Respect & Accept Ayurveda" says Eminent Scientist Prof. Bhushan Patwardhan

      Rajiv Vasudevan
      Petition Organizer

      " The NHP 2002 and the 12th Five Year Plan acknowledge AYUSH systems. People opt for AYUSH especially for prevention, wellness and conditions where modern medicine has severe limitations. This is much relevant to Armed Forces too and to deny medical reimbursement scheme for the armed forces is surprising, commented Prof. Bhushan Patwardhan, Vice Chancellor, Symbiosis Int'nl University, eminent scientist, and thought leader.

      Indian healthcare is incomplete without integrating AYUSH. WHO recognizes traditional medicine for affordable, safe and effective healthcare. China and Korea are aggressively integrating traditional medicine at all levels within their countries and abroad. There is overwhelming global demand that the choice of a preferred system of medicine should be recognized as a FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHT. We hope the DG AFMS would reconsider the decision by respecting and accepting our own traditional medicine in the best interest of its personnel and the people of India"......

    17. Reached 500 signatures
    18. 10 Voices for Ayurveda

      Rajiv Vasudevan
      Petition Organizer

      Dear Friends,

      Good morning.

      I urge each one of you to reach out today to 10 Ayurveda Believers who you know are possibly not aware or have not yet signed the "INCLUDE AYURVEDA" petition.

      Please inform them of our cause, and the need for likeminded people to come together and act decisively in the service of Ayurveda.

      This 1 simple, next step will take our petition into the next orbit of impact.

      Please do so by word of mouth- face to face or by phone- or by sms/email/FB/LinkedIn/ Twitter.

      Count on YOU to add 10 new voices for Ayurveda today.

      Best regards,

      Rajiv Vasudevan

    19. Today's Email Update Held Up at

      Rajiv Vasudevan
      Petition Organizer

      Dear Fellow Signatories,

      An update email I sent out today (17th June) afternoon is held up at and I expect that you will see it tomorrow morning sometime in your mailbox.

      In the meantime, to avoid further delay, the contents of my email have been posted on the following link. Please check it out.

      Look forward to hearing from you.

      Rajiv Vasudevan

    20. AMMOI Strongly Endorses "INCLUDE AYURVEDA" Petition

      Rajiv Vasudevan
      Petition Organizer

      The demands made by our "INCLUDE AYURVEDA" Petition was yesterday (June 15th, 2012) strongly endorsed by Ayurvedic Medicine Manufacturers Organisation of India (AMMOI). They have sent a formal representation to the Hon. Defense Minister reiterating our key demands. Thanks to AMMOI leadership for its proactive and decisive action.

    21. Reached 250 signatures
    22. Shashi Tharoor too expresses bewilderment

      Rajiv Vasudevan
      Petition Organizer

      As any sensible, grounded Indian would be, Shashi Tharoor too has expressed his amazement that in India, at the highest level, Ayurveda can be ignored.

    23. Reached 10 signatures

      Rajiv Vasudevan
      Petition Organizer



      Very little is known of the medical organisations that existed in the various Armies in this country in the ancient times. However, Kautilya’s Arthashastra shows that during battles, physicians with surgical instruments (Sastra, medicines and drugs in their hands besides women with prepared food and beverages) used to stand behind the fighting men. Similarly, from Sushruta Samhita, it is seen that a physician fully equipped with Medicines would live in a camp not remote from the royal pavilion and there the persons wounded by arrows and other war projectiles, or those who had imbibed poison used to be treated. A physician in the King’s service used to adopt certain measures to protect the life of his royal highness from secret poisoning. The physician well versed in technical sciences and with knowledge of other allied branches of study was held in high esteem by the King and others.


      And, on the other hand this disdain for Ayurveda!


    Reasons for signing

      • 11 months ago

      If madani can get ayurvedic treatment why not our hero Manesh.

      • about 1 year ago

      do we need a reason to support this brave man??

      • about 1 year ago

      it is our own pathy

      • about 1 year ago

      me being an indian feels it is really an insult to the whole tradition of india....

      • about 1 year ago

      To make available this treatment of Indian origin to our soldiers, too


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